Calls for deradicalization programme in NZ amid debate over NZ-born accused terrorist

The question of what to do with a New Zealand woman labelled an ISIS terrorist has brought calls to set up special programmes for those who've been radicalised.

Your playlist will load after this ad

The global issue of those fleeing terrorist organisations is one New Zealand’s now grappling with. Source: 1 NEWS

Suharya Aden, 25, could end up back here, despite living in Auckland for just a short time as a child.

New Zealand-born, Australian-raised Aden spent time packed into a Syrian camp with hundreds of women and children.

But she started life in a cul-de-sac in Mt Roskill.

The suburban Auckland street is where Suharya Aden's refugee family lived when she was born in 1995.

Neighbours don't remember the Somalian family. They lived here until Aden was six before packing up and moving to Melbourne.

Electoral rolls from 1999 list her father as unemployed and her mother as a housewife.

Stripped of her Australian citizenship, she could now end up back in New Zealand, leading to calls for the establishment of a deradicalization programme.

"It needs some expertise and special programmes," Islamic Women's Council of New Zealand's Anjum Rahman told 1 NEWS.

"The Government is funding over $8 million towards some kind of deradicalization and rehab programme, there is a range of extremists in our country who would benefit from that and she would possibly be a good first case."

Rahmen says we could look to Australia and Britain for advice.

"There are a couple of states that do have good programmes, we could learn from that, provide support around us and we want to work to prevent them from going to these kinds of situations in the first place."

Legal experts say prosecutors would have to prove Suhayra Aden supported ISIS for her to be charged with any crime.

"We have under the Terrorism Suppression Act ... control orders for returning foreign fighters," expert Paul Buchanan said.

"That allows the Government, even if they don't have concrete evidence of crimes, subject [them] to control orders which limit their movements."

Like Kiwi jihadi Mark Taylor, Aden was radicalised in Australia.

"They have obviously a problem, they need to address it and they need to take responsibility for it," Rahmen said.

In 2016, spy boss Rebecca Kitteridge warned MPs: "Something that's changed over the past year is the issue of New Zealand women travelling to Iraq and Syria is something we hadn't seen previously."

The global issue of those fleeing terrorist organisations is one New Zealand is now grappling with.